Bible Commentary

Psalm 24

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Psalm 24)

Verse 2

[2] For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

Seas — The whole collection of waters, as well as the sea and the rivers running into it, as that great abyss of waters which is contained in the bowels of the earth.

Verse 3

[3] Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

The hill — Zion or Moriah, the place of God's sanctuary and special presence. Having asserted God's dominion over all mankind, he now proposes an important question, by whom God will be served, and his blessing enjoyed? Stand - To minister before him. Standing is the posture of ministers or servants. Who shall serve God, with God's acceptation.

Holy place — In the place which he hath sanctified for his service.

Verse 4

[4] He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

He — Whose actions and conversation are holy and unblameable.

Pure heart — Careful to approve itself to God, as well as to men; ordering a man's very thoughts and affections according to God's word.

Vanity — Who doth not value or desire the vain things of this life, such as honours, riches, pleasures; but makes God his portion.

Verse 5

[5] He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

The blessing — Grace and glory, and all other good things.

Verse 6

[6] This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. /*Selah*/.

The generation — The true progeny which God regards.

Face — His grace and favour, which is often called God's face.

Verse 7

[7] Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Lift up — He speaks here of the gates and doors of the temple, which by faith and the spirit of prophecy, he beheld as already built, whose doors he calls Everlasting, not so much because they were made of strong and durable materials, as in opposition to those of the tabernacle, which were removed from place to place. These gates he bids lift up their heads, or tops, by allusion to those gates which have a portcullis, which may be let down or taken up. And as the temple was a type of Christ, and of his church, and of heaven itself; so this place may also contain a representation, either of Christ's entrance into his church, or into the hearts of his faithful people, who are here commanded to set open their hearts and souls for his reception: or of his ascension into heaven, where the saints or angels are poetically introduced as preparing the way, and opening the heavenly gates to receive their Lord and king, returning to his royal habitation with triumph and glory.

The king — The Messiah, the king of Israel, and of his church, called the King, or Lord of glory, 1 Corinthians 2:8; James 2:1, both for that glory which is inherent in him, and that which is purchased by him for his members.

Verse 8

[8] Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

The Lord — He is no ordinary person, no other than Jehovah, who hath given so many proofs of his almightiness, who hath subdued all his enemies, and is now returned in triumph.

Verse 9

[9] Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Lift up — The same verse is repeated again, to awaken the dulness of mankind, who are so hardly brought to a serious preparation for such solemnities; and to signify the great importance of the matter, contained under these expressions.

Verse 10

[10] Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. /*Selah*/.

Of hosts — Under whose command are all the hosts of heaven and earth, angels and men, and all other creatures.

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